Busy Day in San Francisco

This post is also available in: Spanish

Isabel, Lori and I spent a wonderful day in San Francisco’s Mission District recently, where we went to visit a few nonprofits.

Isabel with Carmen Ortiz, PhD, Founder/Executive Director of Circle de Vida on the right

Isabel with Carmen Ortiz, PhD, Founder/Executive Director of Círculo de Vida on the right

Our first stop was Círculo de Vida, which helps Latinas diagnosed with cancer navigate their health care. The organization offers aid managing immigration concerns, bridging the language barrier, setting up care and counseling during treatment and after surgery, organizing child care support, and much more.

The nonprofit was recently threatened with potential eviction to make way for an expanding tech company, an all-too-familiar story in San Francisco these days. But this story has a happy ending: the incoming company, a startup called DoubleDutch, agreed to a compromise that would allow Círculo to remain in the building. Read about it here.

Our next stop was…okay, so it was Gracias Madre, an organic and vegan Mexican restaurant on Mission and 18th. What can I say? We got a little hungry. When we sat down the waiter proudly announced that the restaurant was “local, organic AND vegan”—a detail I’d neglected to mention to Isabel. I thought she was going to strike me. Vegan is really, really not her thing. Not to worry, though: the food was AMAZING—even Isabel had to admit it. If you’re lucky enough to go, try the Mexican hot chocolate, which is made with horchata (a non-dairy beverage made of rice or nuts) instead of milk.

Isabel outside The Women's Building SF, CA. © Lori Barra 2015

Isabel outside The Women’s Building SF, CA. © Lori Barra 2015

Our real next stop was The Women’s Building on 18th Street, a women-led nonprofit arts and education community center decorated with stunning murals inside and out. Check out its website here. There we visited Mujeres Unidas y Activas, which fights for justice and immigrant rights, and caught a glimpse of the myriad other organizations within the building that devote themselves to helping women and children throughout the Bay Area.

It was pretty much a perfect day—we met great people doing great work AND enjoyed delicious food. What more could we ask for?

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